tv Road to the White House CSPAN October 13, 2014 1:36am-2:01am EDT
republican colleagues in the whate -- tell the people you are for. we know you don't like aca. we know you are holding your breath and hoping his unpopularity will elect you. that isn't good enough. what are you for? [applause] i try to stay away from the partisan remarks. if they try to hold their breath and ride this train out, id on't -- i don't know. but if we talked about what we could do with economic growth and education -- we don't even have a higher education act. nobody's against it, and yet it languishes in the committees. we are to have to think about foreign policy and defense again. these are not issues that would surprise anybody, but he was talking about those things that we need to do? in order to get things done you
need to talk about them, think him all of this. activate away from what the question was. >> i am glad you raised the point about students. i want to ask one last question. if the republicans in the a lot of ships has that one of the first act is going to be feeling obamacare. that precludest him talking? >> the house has voted 34 times to repeal it. recommend -- i am always looking for a way to get results. i would say, ok, one more vote, just one. if you can get it through the house and senate, it's vetoed, thens ay wh -- then what?
you should sit down and say, there are some things that are not working -- could we amend this? is taket i would think a little time with a few rifle shots. hopefully it will be bipartisan. if you want a medical device provision, which would undermine the bill, but if you could do that, you could get 70 votes. senators like the democrats from minnesota who would vote for it. there are some places where improvements can be made and you can get it done and then move on. do your show vote and then do your real votes. [laughter] that is what tom and i would do. >> it's amazing how many things there are that we could do together. we have a fantastic opportunity to deliver care at lower costs, especially in rural areas and all over the country.
that is just one small example but a very important opportunity for many of us. >> let's get to the student question. they are probably better than any i have asked. write abouttry to this -- it is hard to get traction because the constituency doesn't vote in this country on this particular issue, students debt. the trillionended dollars. -- a trillion dollars. we're the only country that saddles students with this kind of debt. what are your thoughts about this? how did we get to this point and how do we get out of it? that is an extraordinarily important issue. one of the largest sources of debt now in the country. i think we have ignored it for too long to begin with. i think we have made it hard for students to repay their debt.
we have not created the that accommodate the extraordinary increases in costs that students are facing. i think we have to deal with the costs of education and how we address that from a national perspective as one that is subject to a good deal of thoughtful consideration. reducing the cost and improving the costs -- reducing of money for student loans as well. all of those things have to be part of it. >> i'm the son of a schoolteacher. my first newspaper column when i got elected to the house, i ran and in the local newspaper and she clipped it out and marks the grammatical errors in red and mailed it to me. being aeen accused of little flaky on the issue of education. after i graduated, i worked for two years in a financial aid office. i was a recruiter for the university and during the
summers i did the loans and grant programs, set up the work-study programs. i felt like the federal programs of loans and grants and the work-study programs, i could've gotten through law school without it. i have always been an advocate of that. in those days, it wasn't called student debt, it was ndea. part of it was, if you got the rate and it was at a lower than it is now and if you went into teaching, a certain portion of your loan was forgiven for every year you taught. i think that is a good idea. i think that a system of loans and grants -- i like the work-study program, where you can work for the university and get paid for it. but i also think, this is where i begin to reflect on my background. you have an obligation to pay it. we need to look at it as a hold.
we need to take a look at higher education in america, how was it doing? are we adequately funding research, an important part of our university curriculum? and what is an adequate amount of loans? what is the right rate? how can we measure it students do pay it back? that is where i get hard nose. i think if you borrow it, you pay it back. for theso think -- i am grant program. but i get nervous when it becomes you get a loan or grant and the next thing you know you are making a little money going to school and then get out of school. this is an important area. i think we need to take a look at it. they made a little progress this year, a bipartisan agreement. next year, we have got some good people. there is a guy from minnesota, i don't know who would chair the
committee and the senate. but it ought to be one of our party issues next year. >> as you alluded to earlier, you were a part of a bipartisan group. one of the things they came up is afor some of your work year of national service. which is controversial. could that be possibly lead into the student debt situation? >> we had a wonderful day on campus, talking to a lot of students in different classes. one of the messages that i think we both took to students is commitmentbody has a to their country. a realization that we have to give back. there has got to be some recognition of the responsibility of citizenship that goes to voting and political involvement, at all levels.
but i think it also could mean national service. it has been discussed on many levels, all kinds of different settings and occasions, but i think there is a real value to students who are brought to an understanding of the importance of citizenship, the importance of responsibility, the importance of giving back to one's country. in so doing, addressing other challenges. >> we talked an awful lot about the moments you have came together. there are also moments where you were at each other's throats in the senate. in both of your books you wrote about those times. what was the most difficult situation the two of you faced? >> i don't know that we ever got at each other's throats. we had disagreements. i remember when we got the balanced budget agreement with we agreed on tax
cuts and a balanced budgets, and it led to surpluses. we actually got it done. it was not an easy discussion for tom. y, there was a lot of back and forth between republicans and the president and there were some things and it's that tom didn't like, and i know it was uncomfortable for him. in the end we got it done in an overwhelming vote. tom,ple times, i surprised did something -- we had to agreements. one, i would tell him what the schedule would be and wouldn't surprise him. every now and then i would pull the trigger and he would get mad and i would apologize. it works both ways. -- worked both ways. did we ever get really nasty? both came at we
issues from a different perspective. we understood that if we are going to get through this particular legislative challenge, somehow we are going to have to find common ground. i think the greatest friction occurred on procedural issues that are kind of born to the audience. there is a term that is commonly called filling the tree, where the majority leader lays the build and fills the tree with amendments so the other side can offer amendments. that's happening now. it is happened -- it has happened over seven times in the last. -- last six years. you want to legislate and if you think you are being dealt with unfairly, whether it is procedural or substantive, you are going to respond. we would have our tiffs. think howk and i pleased i am that we did it.
a phone that have directly connected with the two leaders and it was only for the leaders. the staff couldn't use it and nobody used it but us. if the phone rang it was him. it was that line of communication that allowed us to get through difficult times. once in a while we would use a colleague, a good intermediary, a senator from louisiana, a dear friend. we would send messages through him occasionally. but it was usually by the end of the day -- i don't think we ever went home mad. we figured out a way. >> i filled out the tree about 11 times. [applause] he didn't like any of them. [laughter] i think he only did it to me once or twice. it's a terrible procedure, when you block amendments. timesit at least two trying to block john mccain from offering campaign-finance reform. i blocked him for four years.
think his intentions were good. weakened the ability to do the parties -- for the parties to do what they have to do and it led to super pac's now, blasting people with tons of money. no transparency. one of the things i have always said about finance reform is i don't like limits but i think you should have to reveal instantly where you got it from and to give it to you. lets the people decide. there are probably some dairy men here. agot a contribution from political action committee -- i was proud of it. i got plastered by the news media that i was taking political action committee money from the dairy industry.
i was pretty proud of it. so instead of running from it i touted it. those things -- we have had to put up with over the years. >> is there such a thing as too much bipartisanship? i ask it in this context -- both of you have raised objections about the patriot act. there are a number of democrats who regret their vote. was there too much partisanship that pushed us to fast into iraq and pushed us to fast into some of these things in the area of privacy and those considered -- those security concerns that we are seeing playing out? >> i don't think so. icould have said more, but think you do the best he can, given the circumstances you are dealt. we didn't best we could given the circumstances that we had at the time. but i think that is true of almost anything that the
congress has faced in all history. you make decisions, move on, come back -- if you look at the number of times we have amended the social security act, for medicare -- or medicare, you just recognize that this is an organic process that will continue to evolve over time. i look back with pride and satisfaction, but obviously there are things we now have the luxury of better understanding that we didn't have been. >> i don't think you can be too much of a good thing and bipartisanship, which is what you have to have when you have two parties to get something done. you don't have to give up your principles or your philosophy to get it done. wayme from a school -- the i was raised was the best government is the least government, closest to the people. the people here in this may roo -- this room, that is where the
rubber meets the road's. -- roads. believe the former governor of wisconsin said that the federal government should deliver the mail and stay the hell out of my life. i believe in individual responsibility and rights at the same time. and i still have a greater faith in people at the local level. i am naturally suspicious of the federal government. but having said that, i also think that there is a role for the federal government and for colleagues in my party that basically say, i don't want any federal government. that won't work, either. you have to be prepared for give a little and get a little, just like tom mentioned, that big tax bill that bush wanted. back in 2002. i was very much an advocate of the full tax cut. but, this is when we had -- my
friend, a democrat from le olympia snowe from maine. i didn't have the votes but i wanted the tax cuts. we negotiated and wound up cutting that tax bill by about $300 billion. but it was still a huge tax cut. we got it done. where i come from, if you can't get $1 trillion but you can get $800 billion, that is a pretty good deal. have beenat -- i accused of being a dealmaker, a compromiser. yeah. but i have also been accused of getting things done for my country and that is the most important. [applause] >> that is a good segue to our last six minutes.
i will let you perform the senate exercise here. divide the time between yourselves. what i would like you to do is address this question -- short-term and long-term, are you optimistic or pessimistic about where we are going as a country? and talk about why. i would be glad to yield to my colleague. [laughter] short-term, i am worried. where we are and what is happening. happeningf -- what's in the party primaries now really upsets me. opponents the first time i ran for congress and the republican primary, never had another republican primary opponent in my 35 years. now the primaries
are so vicious and my colleague from mississippi, cochran, has been in congress nine years. he is a thoughtful man but he is 76. we had an ugly primary mississippi. i think our candidates are not the cause. i think they are reflecting the people. i was shocked at what some people said and did in mississippi. we generally have run gentlemanly campaigns but this was nasty. i am worried about the short-term. andthis social media twitter and instagram and and iok, and then i come, go and see some military men and women and i come to a university like this and i see these young people and it reinstates your faith. long-term, this is the greatest system the mines have man have
ever conceived. this, too, shall pass. i do see hope on the horizon. the next generation of leaders that are coming into congress. republican, democrat, house and senate. they will be different. im not a damning the current leaders. line at men and women that are coming into the congress. i think it will get better. i do believe the american people -- i hope it won't take another crisis or war. but when we get together we are a hell of a force and it will happen again. [applause] >> i guess i share that point of view. short-term i am very concerned about the polarization and confrontation, the dysfunction that we began talking about tonight. but it has been worse.
times have been worse, our country has been in worse shape. i read a book about william jennings bryan, 1907 during the great panic. double-digit unemployment and people were very concerned about whether our country could survive all that. andave a speech in denver ended it by saying, if i had one wish it would be to come back in a century to find out whether this great country has survived. that was in 1907. we survived two world wars, a great depression, a number of other scandals, the resignation look backdent, and we at that century as one of the greatest american centuries and all of history. the american century. we succeeded in part because of our resiliency. in part because of our amazing innovation. in part because we found ways to collaborate and we engaged. but in large part because when we needed it the most, our
leaders rose to the occasion and provided the kind of leadership that really made a difference. that is really what we need so badly now, to rise to the occasion, to show that leadership, to come to grips with the challenges we are facing. i got elected in 1978 and i will never forget the conversation i had with senator claude pepper. he had been defeated in the senate, came back and was chairman of the rules committee at the time. he had to two pictures on his wall that some members have heard me talk about. one was a picture of an old plane with two men in front of it. down at the bottom it said to my dear friend claude pepper, orville wright. next to it was a picture of the moonscape, addressed to claude pepper by neil armstrong. neil armstrong walking the moon. elected hereby 14 votes and i don't know how long i will be here.
what advice would you have for a very junior, very fragile congressman? he thought and then he said one are a democrat and i am a democrat, but it is far more important not that you are an r or d or c or d. he said try to be a construct is, a capital c. i am very grateful for him to coming to south dakota. thank you all very much. [applause] ♪ >> up next examining social media's impact on the careers of politicians and journalists. then a political roundtable on the impact of the women's vote
in the upcoming elections. the c-span's coverage of 2014 campaign continues with the idaho u.s. senate race. >> be part of c-span's campaign 2014 coverage. follow us on twitter and like us on facebook. clips,debate schedules, previous -- c-span is bringing you over 100 debates and you can instantly share your reactions to what the candidates are saying, the battle or control of congress. stay in touch and engage by following us on twitter, @c -span. >> >> next, a look at how social media has impacted the careers of politicians and journalists, like anthony weiner, dan rather, george allen, ted stevens, and rick perry.
from the steamboat institute's annual freedom conference in colorado, this is 45 minutes. >> all right. thank you, everyone, for being here. every year, i look forward to coming to steamboat. this is my third or fourth year to get to be here. it's an honor to be here. this is an event and an organization devoted to educating americans about the principles of our founding, but having a friendly conversation here is one thing. as we mind, all too often, winning tough policy battles when pitted against the liberal ideologues is another matter. we must not only have the right information, we must be prepared to communicate them effectively. digital media presents an exciting venue to connect directly with policy influences and voters alike. insi